This week’s free downloadable BBC Introducing Mixtape features a handpicked selection of tunes by some of the finest artists curently emerging in Wales, chosen from the BBC Introducing Uploader by my good friend and BBC colleague Bethan Elfyn: AFRO CLUSTER, CaStLes, BUCK, CARW, GOLDEN FABLE, HVNTER, TIBET, THE CRADLES, ANELOG, PEANESS, HMS MORRIS, VIOLET SKIES, MELLT, NOVO AMOR, SAM PARSONS and THE MINERALS.
The BBC Introducing Mixtape is a 60 minute radio show broadcast on BBC Radio 6 Music from 2-3am every Sunday night/Monday morning. Each programme is then downloadable in podcast form at the BBC 6 Music downloads page for the next 30 days. Full tracklists and start times for each track are published here at Fresh On The Net – together with with information about the music that’s been provided by the artists themselves.
This week’s mixtape has been curated by Bethan Elfyn – longstanding champion of new and innovative artists and tireless advocate of Welsh music – most recently with the Horizons project. Her weekly new music programmes on BBC Wales go out every Saturday night from 7pm. These are the listings for the Mixtape broadcast on BBC Radio 6 Music in the early morning of Monday, 9th November at 2am.
AFRO CLUSTER – Basic Questions ft Greg Blackman [starts 00:36]
“Afro Cluster are a Cardiff based band citing Fela Kuti, Snarky Puppy, Ozomatli, The Roots & Talking Heads amongst their influences. Together with front man MC Skunkadelic, they meld authentic sounds and rhythms of afro-funk and hip-hop with impassioned, politically conscious lyrics atop bold melodies, afro-beat aural acrobatics, rich harmonies and complex rhythms. Changes to the line up in 2015 refined the focus and determination of the band to establish themselves at the forefront of the UK hip hop scene. Notable high profile gigs this year include performances alongside Los Angeles Hip Hop champions People Under The Stairs and Oregon jazz juggernauts Young Blood Brass Band. Featured on Made in Cardiff TV, BBC Radio 6, BBC Radio Wales and Paris DJs compilation.”
CaStLes – Part Depart [starts 06:16]
“North Wales three-piece CaStLeS consist of brothers Cynyr and Dion Hamer on multiple instruments, plus Calvin Thomas. “Songs inspired by the surrounding wilderness, a musical oddity ensues: their infusion of psychedelic rock, blues and dancy grooves has been lauded by BBC6 Music’s Tom Robinson, BBC Radio Wales and Radio 1.” Alas though they’ve never been that keen on telling any of us about themselves or their music. The Hamer brothers have been working together under the name of CaStLeS since 2008 and also play in the live lineup of Owain Ginsberg’s WE//ARE//ANIMAL.”
BUCK – Underneath the Glow of My Skin [starts 09:20]
“Buck is a new band by Ed Jones of Masters in France. I’m hoping to produce music inspired by my love and affection towards 70s and 80s music. My inspiration comes from sc-fi movies of the 70s and 80s and the odd B movie with a cool dark soundtrack. From such movies as Death Wish and The Warriors to horror movies, I’m able to use the scape and feel they portray and then remake that sound and groove using live and digital instruments. I’m trying to create a sound that uses some examples of European composers like Ennio Morricone and the way they used their compositional styles for their interpretation of Soul, and I love the way that type of music has inspired hiphop and so its a big bowl of that with some psychedelic subtleness slapped on top! The tracks are produced with my other band member Richy Roberts and will have the grooves of Steely Dan lover Sion Seabass Eds as drummer. Underneath the glow of my skin is my second self-released single; the first was a song called Arecibo. They will be followed by a release of my debut EP at the start of the new year. Both tracks are available to buy via iTunes, amazon etc.”
CARW – Feathers [starts 13:56]
Carw is the music project of Owain Griffiths who describes himself as a “one man band influenced by 80s pop and shimmery echoes. Originally from the hills of mid-Wales, now living in Cardiff.”
GOLDEN FABLE – The Crossing [starts 18:17]
As any regular listener to the BBC Introducing Mixtape knows, Golden Fable are Rebecca Palin, Tim McIver and Jack McCarthy. “Rebecca’s soaring, haunting vocal shines through,” we’re told “whilst multi-instrumentalist Tim creates the layered musical landscapes beneath. This fusion is perfectly complimented by Jack’s inspired and considered drum patterns. Based in the foothills of the mountains in north Wales, Golden Fable are unashamedly linked to the natural world, inspired by the rich and varied landscapes that surround them.”
HVNTER – Blood [starts 23:06]
Hvnter is “an electronic singer-songwriter from Pontypridd. Looking to release more music in the new year, alongside performing his first live performance at the end of November, this year.”
TIBET – So You Forgot How To Lose [starts 25:58]
Tibet are “four lads from Cardiff, Joel and Ethan Hertz (brothers), Tom Rees and Rhys Carey playing psychedelic, garage and indie rock. We love BIG TUNES. Formed last Summer and toured the UK throughout the past year. We have just started work promoting our second self-released EP produced by James Kenosha (Band Of Horses, Dry The River). We’re headlining The Social in London on 12th January as part of Huw Stephens Presents.”
THE CRADLES – Denmark Street [starts 28:13 ]
“Hailing from Cardiff, The Cradles are a five-piece beginning to make their mark in 2015. They have played over 80 shows in the past 12 months including sell-out shows and notable support slots with the likes of The Bohicas and Pretty Vicious. Less notable shows include a sparsely attended gig on the apparently once-thriving musical haven of Denmark Street in London, which inspired the writing of this song. Fortunately, David Bowie happened to walk into the venue half way through their set and the band now enjoy a blossoming relationship with David, regularly meeting up for afternoon tea in their spare time. The Cradles continue to gig extensively, and are set to head off on their second UK tour in early 2016. Catch them next supporting Space at the Globe in Cardiff on 25th November.”
ANELOG – Siabod [starts 31:46]
“Anelog derived their name from a small village located on the tip of the rugged Ll?n Peninsula coastline. But don’t be fooled, it is not by open sea that they fettle their compositions but in a verdant vale, set inland and guarded from the trade winds by a garrison of Bryns, the mysterious Sir Ddinbych. It is in these lush valleys that Anelog have forged their own blend of sound music, and it is now that they hope to spread their unique brand of folk/pop to the world and beyond…. On a more useful note, we are a 5 piece from Denbigh, N.Wales. Comprised of 2 families, we have the Cattells-Sam on Bass, Alfie on Keyboards/Synths and Danny on Guitar/Vocals and then Sion Rogers on Drums and his sister Lois on Synth/Vocals. We’ve been going for about 8 months. The 3 songs we have released have all been recorded, mixed and mastered at home, but we have recently been awarded a £2000 grant by the Gorwellion/Horizons scheme which we are going to use to record a full length album.”
PEANESS – I’m Not Your Problem [starts 35:58]
“Three piece indie-pop band Peaness formed in Chester, England late 2014. Their debut EP No Fun was released Aug 20th 2015 independently and is available online now. They have been featured on BBC Introducing in Merseyside and Wales with their singles Fortune Favours The Bold and Summer Song. The band are heading back into the studio end of Nov and plan to release a second EP in the new year.” Upcoming gigs: Sun 8th Nov Swn Festival, Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff; Fri 13th Nov Market Hall, Caernarfon, supporting HMS Morris; Fri 22nd Jan Telfords Warehouse, Chester (headline show!).
HMS MORRIS – I Grind My Teeth [starts 39:25]
“HMS Morris appeared in midair between London and Cardiff in 2012, hovered for a good while to get their bearings, and finally descended in 2014 to set down roots in the rich psychedelic soil of Wales. After a triumphant summer festival season featuring stops at Glastonbury and Festival No.6, expectations are mounting for the band’s debut album, due out in early 2016.”
VIOLET SKIES – Liar [starts 43:29]
“The word cinematic is too frequently used to describe music with all the evocative power of a tax demand” we’re told. “Violet Skies’ music, on the other hand, is too widescreen, sensuous and evocative to be contained by the word. As Violet herself puts it: “My sound balances a love for artists I grew up with, such as Joni Mitchell, Sting and Paul Simon, and the soundscapes of James Blake and Massive Attack” Violet is from Chepstow in Gwent. Since her debut single and EP release, Dragons, she’s played Glastonbury BBC Introducing Stage, a headline London show, and played a BBC Showcase at The Great Escape 2015. She plays Swn on 7th November, followed by a BBC showcase this December, and in 2016 represents BBC Radio 1 as one of two artists selected for their showcase at Eurosonic 2016.”
MELLT – Cysgod Cyfarwydd [starts 47:22]
Mellt are a “young three piece from Aberystwyth: students at Penglais School in Year 13 and best friends. We released our debut EP Cysgod Cyfarwydd last summer which was well received by the Welsh Music Scene. We are currently recording with Mei Gwynedd in Cardiff working towards our next release. We gig regularly and enjoy having energetic live sets.”
NOVO AMOR – Anchor [starts 51:04]
Novo Amor is the music project of Ali Lacey. His version of Guns ‘N’ Roses’ Welcome To The Jungle – recorded for the ‘AXE/Lynx Black’ advertising campaign – reached over a million plays on Spotify. The latest Expedia advert uses his song From Gold, the lead track from his EP: Woodgate, NY. His songs have featured in the TV shows Bones, Teen Mom, Made In Chelsea and Saving Hope. “The autumnal drift of his latest single Anchor is” (we’re told) “a fine demonstration of his art; as well as building on the precocious accomplishment of his earlier work, it illustrates the rapid evolution of his songcraft, poised perfectly between the ethereal and the earthy. Aside from his songwriting, Lacey is also adept in the field of sound design and often incorporates this into his production by using unconventional recording techniques and ‘found’ objects as instruments.”
SAM PARSONS – Storm [starts 53:53]
“Based in beautiful North Wales, Sam Parsons writes and performs original music on acoustic guitar. Influenced by artists such as John Martin, Nick Drake, Jose Gonzalez and Ali Farka Toure, Sam plays his own individual style of open-tuned folk/blues mixed in with percussive guitar playing. Sam released his EP Premonitions in February on the Welsh indie label Recordiau Mwg. That week Sam was featured as Welsh Artist of the Week on BBC Radio Wales and the track ‘All Night’ was played every day. He has also started writing new music for his next record.”
THE MINERALS – LoFi [starts 56:53]
“Based in the South Wales Valleys, The Minerals are Colenso Jones, Jodie Gibson and Tariq Bedgood, formed in the summer of 2014. Merging elements of Country, Electro and Psychedelia, the trio’s influences range from The Vaselines to Leadbelly, and from Mogwai to Nick Drake. Their eponymous debut album, a collection of eight songs written in the remote hills of Southern France in the Winter of 2014, is now available to buy online via the bands Bandcamp.”
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